Let’s start with the punch line: Adobe is about to lose control of the proprietary Flash web Macromedia had quietly introduced over the last decade… and they don’t like it. When Macromedia brought Flash along, it was the best way to add exciting interactivity and graphics to the web. Flash was so benign, it was shipped with 98% of all computers without question. Now, with Adobe driving the bus, Flash has become a hammer.
Adobe would like you to think Flash is about ease of use, creating a media rich environment and boundless interactivity. Wrong. It’s about royalties and leverage. That’s what everything is about.
This should be a very short court case, if it gets that far. How in the world can Adobe force any manufacturer to use their proprietary software? If that’s the case, why doesn’t Apple sue Adobe for not using Cocoa for development? This is competition, guys. Apple is espousing a more open web where anyone can create an HTML5 compliant web experience which should eventually supplant the proprietary Flash environment.
Another point; Adobe has openly proclaimed they will stop working on Apple implementations of Flash and concentrate on everything else. Two things there – Flash doesn’t currently exist for mobile devices anywhere. Why is it supposed to be included on Apple mobile devices if they can’t get it to work well? Not only that, Adobe has just done exactly what Apple doesn’t want to see in the future, namely the “we have already decided to shift our focus away from Apple’s iPhone and iPad devices for both Flash Player and AIR” announcement. I’m glad Adobe said that up front. Lets see, what could that possibly do if this was five years from now? Wipe out half of the App Store if Flash was required? Sounds like a bad idea to play with Flash and Adobe if you ask me.
So, in light of the fact that (1) Flash is proprietary, (2) it doesn’t work on anyone’s mobile device anyway and (3) Adobe has already abandoned the Apple mobile platform, I hear the sound of a gavel.
However, here’s what Apple needs to do right away: create the tools required to replace Flash with a robust and open HTML5 environment. Actually, that’s what Adobe needs to do as well. Stop whining and get to work. Flash was a good ride but kiss it goodbye. Make the tools to create HTML5 familiar to Flash developers but write different code in the background. That way, perhaps a lot of Flash developers won’t need to learn to much to get back in the game. Adobe will sell a ton of these tools and we’ll all be better off.